Not many people know the story of one of Trinidada latest chutney singers, Vee Ram (Vishnu Ramkaran). The 28-year-old man grew up as an orphan in Rio Claro, his parents and only sibling, an older brother, were killed in a home invasion when he was a baby.
The burglars, who robbed the family's business, did not know the new-born baby was asleep inside a bedroom and when police arrived the child was found alive.
That boy child grew into a respectful, educated man who developed a passion for singing. He was raised by an uncle and aunt who encouraged him to pursue his dreams.
Vee Ram, as he is known, studied electrical engineering at the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT).
His debut was at age four when his uncle enrolled him to perform at a Divali programme in a village primary school.
It was the beginning of a career which would take him through several bands and to various parts of Trinidad and Tobago.
Ram said 10 years ago his talent caught the attention of veteran musician Teddy Bissambhar who invited him to be part of the D Rampersad Indi-Art Orchestra.
“So I would go to classes, rehearsals and on weekends I would work in the grocery for extra cash. My aunt and uncle always taught me to work for what I want. They taught me to never depend on anyone for anything,” he said.
Ram then joined an English crossover band, Horizon, where he displayed his talent in Spanish, pop and other genres of music.
But in 2017, Ram decided to go solo.
He recorded six selections which have gained popularity locally and abroad.
He two chutney contributions for the 2018 chutney soca season have been dominating the airwaves.
The songs, Kaun Aisa – a traditional chutney song - and The Gyal Dem – chutney soca - were recorded at Maha Studios by producer Rishi Mahatoo.
The Gyal Dem was written Ram and singer/songwriter O'Neil Bhajman.
And Ram's version of the Spanish hit Despacito has been topping local charts for more than six weeks.
Ram said he was looking forward to great things in 2018.
He said his misfortunes as a child had helped to mould him into a better man.
“I never stopped learning. I love singing so I went on to study Indian classical singing and studied for my Diploma. I am always trying to improve myself as an artiste,” he said.
Ram said his love for Spanish music also led his to study the language which has enabled him to perform the songs comfortably.
In the coming year, Ram said he intends on building himself as an artiste in Trinidad and Tobago and abroad.
He has entered the 2018 Chutney Soca Monarch and will be performing The Gyal Dem should he be selected for the semi-final round.
Ram said he was aspiring to be as successful as local entertainer Ravi B.
“I have big dreams and I am working towards them. The coming year looks bright and I would love an opportunity to perform for an international audience to showcase the talent of Trinidad and Tobago,” he said.
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